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Bloviating Zeppelin: Box of Rocks

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Box of Rocks

1. Green Bay Packers

. . . are not going to the Super Bowl. They lost the NFC Championship yesterday by one field goal in overtime, 23 to 20, against the New York Giants. The better team won, simple as that. After missing two prior field goals, Tyne hit his final and most important kick in overtime following a Favre interception.

On Sunday, February 3rd, 12 days from now, Super Bowl XLII will feature the New England Patriots vs the New York Giants. This is a "gimme" prediction: New England will walk away with the game and be the first team to ever have such a "perfect season" in all of NFL history.

On the continuing NFL front:

Tony Dungy (probably the finest Class Act in professional football today), who was considering retirement, has said he's coming back to the Indianapolis Colts for 2008.

Brett Favre's return to the Green Bay Packers is uncertain. He was seriously thinking of retirement after the rather disappointing 2006 season. His decision was, obviously, to return for 2007 and Green Bay turned their record around astoundingly for '07. My gut says: Brett will be back. I think he still enjoys the game too much to walk away yet; you can see it in his face.

Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick (and his entire coaching staff!) was fired following the Ravens 5 & 11 season. The Ravens then hired former Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach John Harbaugh.

I've just about had it with Microsoft and, by extension, PCs. I walked into an Apple Store the other day and eyeballed the hell out of a gorgeous 24"-monitored iMac. The newest issue of PC World magazine indicates that Apple is one of the best (if not the best) brands out there. I'm tired of the Windows bugs; I'm tired of the 3-Fingered Salute; I'm tired of the constant updates; of the slow speeds on boot-up and shutdown; I'm tired of the constant threats of viruses aimed directly a Bill Gates and anything he makes; I'm just tired of most any PC I've had just being plain unreliable. Period.

In the new iMac, I can get a 2.8Ghz dual core Intel processor, already running a 64-bit system, max of 4 gigs memory, and up to a TB of drive. I'm considering using this unit to learn video editing via Final Cut Pro or Express.

Anyone have experience with Apples and perhaps an iMac in particular? Experience with Apple's new OS called Leopard? Thoughts on video editing with Final Cut Pro or Express? Opinions about PC vs Mac? Am I about to make a mistake, or step into a new and liberating dimension?

Obviously, I'm politicked out for now. . .



Blogger Ranando said...

My wife has an Apple and she loves it. My company graphic designers all use Apples and they love them. We plan on having the entire company running on Apple by the end of 2008. it's already in the budget.

When I buy my next laptop, it will be an Apple.

Smart move BZ, go for it.

It's like swiching from a Honda to a Harley, there's nothing like it.

Mon Jan 21, 05:42:00 PM PST  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

I hate it! That is the GB thing.

First the Cowboys blow it! Then so does Green Bay! The Giants are a sucky team that are only there because other teams have beat themselves.

NY won't even give the Pats a descent fight.

About Apple, it all depends on you. Apple does not make a bad computer. Their software is thought out and written better than MS. You will probably enjoy it very much.

In my limited experience, I prefer PCs with Ubuntu to all other systems. The key to that preference is price. PCs are cheaper and Ubuntu is free. I like apple just fine but I am not over the moon about any machine.

Some apple users are cultoid. They totally fall for the iPerbole. Don't let those people totally turn you off. Their weird geeky snobbery turns a lot of people away from buying a really cool machine.

Mon Jan 21, 06:18:00 PM PST  
Blogger Rivka said...

My husband is considering switching to mac. I think he has talked me into it as well, but we need to focus on purchasing a home first, then after that we will make the mac move.

My husband is the football one of us both.. I used to be.


Mon Jan 21, 06:26:00 PM PST  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

Been using Mac's for a loooooooong time.... If you can get hrough the learning curve, which isn't hard if you have the patience, just gotta think simple, you'll be flying. Final cut pro has a steep learning curve, if your not familiar with video editing. If you want to start easy, use IMovie, and watch the video instructions, then move up from that. Transitions and abilities of FC Pro are really cool....FC Express is more then adequate for personal use. I've gottwn so I don't use much more then IMovie for a lot of things....

Mon Jan 21, 07:49:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Ranando: okay, so that looks like one big positive "yes" from you. Excellent!

BWH: I thought the Cowboys and GB were gonna battle it out! Then both get kicked to the curb by lesser teams. Sounds like another "yes" about Apple. And forgive the ignorance, but what's Ubuntu, besides the capital of Botswana?

Rivka: okay, then I'll be your guinea pig. I'll write a massive series of reviews when I pick one up.

ABF: do you have the Leopard OS? If not, any difference? Any major difference between Apple OS & Windows? Harder? Easier? Or just different? Sounds like I'd do well to leave Final Cut Pro alone for a while, and perchance find a copy of Express. What kind of editing do you do? I have a Sony 1100 MiniDV prosumer camcorder that I use to capture train footage. I'd like to add voiceover, narration, transitions, music, that kind of thing. Possible with Express?


Mon Jan 21, 08:29:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bushwack said...

Sorry about your Pack BZ, I did take the NYG with a 3 point rider, so it saved my butt after the SD game...

I've used macs for 15 years, I have watched the transformation and at times was frustrated by the lack of software, but over the last couple of years Microsoft starting porting software for the OSX system and it is the best thing out there right now.

I am running the 24' iMac, pictured but it's only 2.1ghz I am running Panther, 10.4.11 and I will be going to leopard after the first or second update....I hear it's terrific, but there are always bugs at the outset. UNLIKE vista, folks won't go back to Panther when they switch.

Mon Jan 21, 08:39:00 PM PST  
Blogger Just John said...

Hey BZ,

All of my friends that have switched to Macs love them, and have no regrets. A good friend of mine uses Imovie quite often and is pretty happy with it.

He said that Leopard has some great features that MAY make it worthwhile...such as a tool called "time machine," which allows you to have an ongoing backup image of your hard drive and can then just pick a date that you want to restore your system to; pretty neat. It's also supposed to interact with many web-based multi-media application better as well. Plus, it's still Unix based, so no virus worries.

If I didn't hate change so much, I probably would have made the move to Apple long ago.

It will be interesting to see if NE can pull off the "perfect season," but I share your predicion, I think they'll make out quite well against NY.

Mon Jan 21, 09:14:00 PM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Mr. Z - Just so long as you have the applications you need for the Mac, that is what matters. That has always been the #1 top priority no matter *what* computing platform you use (and I have used SUN, SGI, PC/DOS/WIN, PC/WIN, Apple IIg, Apple Mac (original cute squint box), Apple Mac clone-era, and, of course, the latest pile of garbage from the MotherShip which I need to "upgrade" backwards when the warranty runs out. That means that I have a suite of experience dating back to the terminal days of an IBM 360/76 in high school all the way to the latest *bleah* from MS. From *NIX on the terminal to cute greyscale Apple to MotherShip semi-workable to BeOS which delivered the promise but not the apps to full color SGI (now *those* were computers!) I've seen a lot of OS' over the years. Strangely the *best* is that IRIX from SGI: it blew the doors off every other interface and system I have in apps, but it had everything I needed for getting the government printing presses rolling... A sad day when SGI went downhill...

Suggest you read some user experiences with Leopard, as parts of the community have not been fully impressed with it.

#1 Applications
#2 OS
#3 Hardware that is more than enough for 1+2.

And you will still need anti-virus (yes, there are few out there for the BSD Mac, but they are out there... hackers love a challenge of going after a 'bullet proof' OS that has been 'modified' by a company), anti-adware, and the normal course of protection. I recommend that for LINUX and other *NIX boxes, too. I am paranoid, but then I worked in DoD, too... they have all been *compromised* at one time or another. ALL of them.

Finally, put your data on a removable device. Thumb drives for non-image work and an external hard drive for image work... if it is important, back it up religiously no matter what the platform. If the MTBF for your hard drive is lower or something else is wrong you can *ditch* the computer and vagabond to anything that works to keep going. That got me through my recent trials and is done without respect to OS: back up your critical work files no matter what you are using. A hardware death due to a cosmic ray does not respect non-hardened systems. I'm pretty sure I still have a few files from the early 1990's backed up and shift to new media when the old one runs out.

I will be hunkering down with the now relatively stable WinXP for 3-5 years just like I did with Win2K after its teething period and Win95... well, no, I never really did get that stable, nor MS, so shifting to NT 4.0 was a lifesaver.

Computers are for applications.
Data is to be safely stored elsewhere.

The system doesn't matter.

The data *does*.

Tue Jan 22, 05:53:00 AM PST  
Blogger Mark said...

Ubuntu is a linux based OS that I have been looking at bacause of my growing disgust with microsoft. if I have another major crash i will probably be loading it up and trying it out. I haven't used an apple since a 2plus what? 30 years ago now? jeez! but everybody I know that use MAC's are happy with them. my complaint with Apple is they keep you Dependant on them for applications, hardware, everything. so in my humble opinion Apple likes to abuse their customers the same way microsoft does.trying to force you into buying their stuff only. so for that reason, and the pricing, I am looking at the open source angle.

Tue Jan 22, 07:53:00 AM PST  
Blogger Ranando said...

I've been told over and over that you can't run a business or get the right software for Apple, complete and utter bullshit.

Here are some business's that run their entire operation, not just graphics, their entire operation on the Apple platform:

The Walt Disney Company
Bank of America
Amblin Entertainment
Industrial Light & Magic

You can do anything you can do on a PC only better and safer.

When we travel and the hotel has Wi-Fi I have to make all these adjustments to my laptop in order to get on. My wife with her Apple simply clicks an icon and there it is, her Apple senses the Wi-Fi system and she online in seconds.

Go for it and never look back.

Remember, buy the best and cry once!

Tue Jan 22, 08:17:00 AM PST  
Blogger Thomas said...

Yeah, I got a 24" iMac, then down graded to a 20". The 24" is friggen big, plus there is a lot of back light leakage. I was, and still am, disappointed with the quality of the LCD. Granted I am used to upper line ViewSonic and Dell monitors and a Sony Tube Wega TV with contrast ratios over 2000:1, where as the 24" barely gets 300:1.

There are a few annoying nits in OSX, but I am starting to get used to them. Overall I am happy, and the computer sits on the coffee table, so my wife much prefers the appearance over a huge PC.

Look for "moire 24" iMac" and "24" imac backlight leak" in google.

Tue Jan 22, 08:47:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Henry said...

Started on Mac in the 80's. Finally had to learn Windoze in the late 90's. I'm very capable on both, but absolutely prefer Mac!

Get it, be patient with the change over, and I promise you'll be happy.

Once you go Mac, you'll never go back!!

Oh yeah, besides that, Bill Gates is The Devil!!!

Tue Jan 22, 09:17:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Bush, Just John, AJ, Mark, Ranando, Thomas & Henry: thank you all so very much for the input. It would appear the changeover might not be so dreaded. And thanks, also, for the input regarding 20" vs 24" screen. One final question if I might probe your excellent minds: I'm "hearing" that Norton is not so good in terms of virus protection, etc. Any other recommended brand compatible with Apple or recommended in general?


Tue Jan 22, 10:55:00 AM PST  
Blogger Gayle said...

I'm politicked out for now too, BZ, and neither can I discuss the Green Bay Packers or the Super Bowl because I know nothing about it and I don't know anything about Appel computers or iMAC, whatever that is.

So why am I here? I dunno. I guess just to say hello.

Tue Jan 22, 02:09:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Henry said...

I don't use any virus protection on the Mac (probably a bad idea), so I don't know much about what's out there, except:


It's a long story, but trust me.

We run McAfee on all the PC's in the house, but they make a version for Mac.

Tue Jan 22, 03:50:00 PM PST  
Blogger The Griper said...

wow, a whole thread that stayed on topic. lol.

i was always under the impression that Apple was primarily a graphics computer but from what i read here i learned somehing new.

Tue Jan 22, 06:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mark said...

I don't know what happened with Norton over the past few years but their products are junk now. my laptop had their security suite on it with a free 15 mo.subscription when new and it was not worth what I paid for it. it blocked my aircard without logging it, and despite whitelisting the card, and the software for it it would still block it. had to uninstall that crap to make my laptop usable.

Wed Jan 23, 02:46:00 AM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

I stay well away from Symantec and McAfee - they have gone awful in recent years. I use Avast! home edition which has two salient features: extremely good reviews and free. Not available on the Mac, though they do have a Linux version and 64-bit support before anyone else did.

BSD UNIX that is the underlying part of the current Apple OS is extremely stable. No castle is safe with the moat dried up, the drawbridges down, the portcullis pulled up, and no lookouts on the towers. BSD has rarely been breached... not *never* just rarely. And Apple has modified it for 'user friendliness' so that includes 'ease of access'. Luckily the Mac is at low enough marketshare that it doesn't get much hacker attention these days: Apple has learned its lesson from the 1980's and someday the Mothership just might learn the same lesson of the 1990's: security matters along with usability. My memory *does* go back that far with Apple and I *do* remember its corporate attitude and the man at the helm. The last 5 years has demonstrated that for Apple, they have realized that an RDF is not the real world and that corporate reliability and dependability *matter*.

I'm giving the Mothership a pass for 5 years or so, save for an app or two that they do provide free that I can pay-for elsewhere. That is 5 years of 'get a clue' time... I don't expect them to. That is 4 generations of hardware and at least 2 generations of OS down the road. I can wait. Then it will be: applications, OS, hardware. I expect a substantial re-invest in the former... and Moore's Law should make that a wash with the latter.

Wed Jan 23, 05:02:00 AM PST  
Blogger Mark said...

Like I said before, I've never met an unhappy mac user, and that's saying something! but, the tinker that I am I like to build my own systems, and apple does not sell it's OS separately and that annoys me, I understand it, because they have a real good OS and they know they can use that selling point to charge their customers double for their hardware and still feel the love from them.

Apple could bury microsoft if they would sell their OS outright, but will they? NO. why? because Steve Jobs likes grabbing their customers by the short hairs and leading them around every bit as much as Bill Gates does, just do it in different ways. Bill has us running after the next windows upgrade hoping for the promised "improved stability" that never shows up and Jobs keeps his hardware overpriced and back away from the leading edge so it becomes obsolete rather quickly. two peas in a pod, them two.

Wed Jan 23, 08:13:00 AM PST  
Blogger Just John said...

BZ, I dumped Norton a while back and switched to and better performance. Uninstalling Norton sped up my computer noticeably.

I don't think they have a Mac friendly version yet, but it's worth looking into.

Wed Jan 23, 01:31:00 PM PST  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

do you have the Leopard OS? - Yes

If not, any difference? A lot of differences on Leopard, enhancements etc..Only thing I get annoyed with is the wireless sometimes when it won't pull a DNS server, but for me it's minor, as I enter them manually, and it's a local problem with one of my routers.

Any major difference between Apple OS & Windows? Yes... One your always spending time and resources to plug holes, the other allows you to be more productive, thus freeing up time... which I haven't had any of lately... :-(

Harder? Easier? Or just different?
I would say different, and faster. Once your in a program, there all basically the same. The learning curve is fairly short, and after you get used to using keyboard shortcuts, you just fly. The "Control", "option", and "Command" key is your friend" I very highly recommend that you head down to the local apple store, and play with one for a while before purchasing, to make sure you want to head in that direction.

Sounds like I'd do well to leave Final Cut Pro alone for a while, and perchance find a copy of Express.

Express is a slimmed down version of Final cut. Try out IMovie, which has a some of the features, before you spend any money to see if you like editing. It might surprise you at how much you can do in it, and it comes with the computer and is "Free".

What kind of editing do you do?
We sometimes edit and stream online training sessions for industrial, and have edited, converted and streamed commercials for various companies in the past.

I have a Sony 1100 MiniDV prosumer camcorder that I use to capture train footage. I'd like to add voiceover, narration, transitions, music, that kind of thing. Possible with Express?

You can do all this in IMovie, Express, and Final Cut. Import all the tracks, do your edits, synchronize, and add transitions. Final cut, and Express, have a lot more transitions and flexibility, but have can be confusing to the unfamiliar, thus the steep and steeper learning curve. All three can be brought into IDVD to make professional like DVD's, which also comes with the machine, or exported out for web, or email, including hints for servers that are streaming capable.

Your computer will also come with video tutorials to get you started in any of these programs...

Hope this all helps, but the best advice would be to try, and definitely play with one, before you buy.

Wed Jan 23, 08:39:00 PM PST  
Anonymous SimplyKimberly said...

I have to say that I reached my point of no return with Microsoft when I purchased a temporary machine with Windows Vista on it. It sucks beyond the telling. An OS is not supposed to be a memory hog. It is supposed to help you run other software.

My next computer is definitely going to be an Apple. And that 24 incher is a thing of magnificent beauty.

Thu Jan 24, 09:43:00 AM PST  

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